Three Ways to Discern if You Want a Relational or Transactional Business
In my 10 years transition as a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist to Christian Entrepreneur Consultant / Coach, I’ve worked with a variety of mentors with differing styles and expertise. I was struck when my recent business coach expressed she wants to be my coach for life, not only a season…a bold proclamation.
The comment stuck with me. Now I repeat it to my clients.
I felt comfort knowing she wanted a long term relationship, to support me in my biz goals, rather than breezing in and out of my life.
We can avoid some losses. We need and are well-advised to say “goodbye” at times. But many endings are optional.
I structured many life areas around long term commitments to others–my doctor, my hairstylist, my dentist, my best friend from high school I see every week, my best friend from college I see every month, my therapist. So why would it be foreign to have that with my business coach? Why would I voluntarily sever a relationship with a resource, who helps me achieve my goals faster and feel grounded, secure, and happy along the way?
If something’s working, why change it?
My company vision has evolved to build a relational versus transactional business.
You might consider the same.
These three things differentiate a relational versus a transactional business model:
- In a transactional model, you provide a specific solution to a problem you can solve at a profitable price point to your ideal clients able to pay it. In a relational model, you do this too–but in phases. With your client you define the problem or goal(s) you are committed and equipped to solve within a certain time frame. You resolve problems and / or achieve certain growth milestones in phases. Concluding each phase, you revisit with the client the next focus for growth. Assuming you both agree you are the right resource to assist the client in subsequent evolution, you determine the identified outcomes. You negotiate the amount of time to achieve them and formally recontract for phase two.
- In the transactional model, you specialize and develop efficiencies in your expertise area. But you risk boredom and stagnation with your mastery. A relationship model challenges you to excellence. It requires you to grow as fast if not faster than your client in a holistic way to continue to be a resource for them. You must stay current, evolve yourself, become the expert not just in one area, but in how that one area affects with other parts of the business, the culture, and world trends. In a relationship model you must stay one, two, three-plus steps ahead of your clients to continue to deliver their new promise expectations at every stage of their growth. Ultimately, I feel more fulfilled when I am forced to strive for excellence.
- The transactional model’s time constraints allow only a superficial understanding of the client and the more complex internal dynamics that block or contribute to their goal achievement. A transactional model limits the development of trust. Quality time and observing how you conduct yourself over time builds trust in the client relationship. Clients more freely open up in a relational model with the trust you have built. In a relational model, however, you foster emotional, intellectual, spiritual,and relationship breakthroughs. It allows the patterns to surface that often were undetected by previous mentors. The relationship model leads to lasting change that feels effortless, because the core changes are accomplished at a deeper psychological level.
A transactional business model has its place and is a good fit for some providers and some service areas. With a holistic, growth model, I fully subscribe and order my business model around the relationship model concept.
Want to hear more, check out my latest Facebook live on Relational versus Transactional Businesses…
3 Ways to Develop a Business that is Relational Versus Transactional
Christian Entrepreneur Biz and Life Tip: Recognize that when you order your life and business around who you really are and the purpose for which you are created, you, too, might also benefit from a coach / consultant who utilizes a relationship business model.